Empowering women through social media (and more): Are you with the league?

Ellyn Davidson 06/25/12 - 4:45 pm

Have you heard yet about The League of Extraordinary Women? I can’t tell you how excited I am about it.

The League – a list compiled by Fast Company magazine – is made up of 60 high-profile women who are doing amazing things for women (and girls).

Some of the heavy hitters on the list:

  • Coca Cola’s Charlotte Oades, who directs the company’s 5 by 20 initiative, which aims to support five million women entrepreneurs worldwide by 2020.
  • Asenath Andrews, principal of Detroit’s Catherine Ferguson Academy for pregnant teens.
  • Holly Gordon, whose 10×10 film and social action project follows ten girls in ten different countries where fewer than 50 percent of girls complete primary school.
  • Melinda Gates, who is directing her foundation to raise $4 billion for birth control for 120 million women by 2020.

Of course, we’ve seen lists like these before. Magazines (the good ones anyway) love to celebrate people who do good in the world especially when so many of those people are glamorous (Tory Burch and Jennifer Buffett) and/or famous (Alicia Keys, Laila Ali, or America Ferrara) and/or powerful (Hillary Clinton, Maria Eitel, Pat Mitchell).

But Fast Company is doing more than just praising these movers and shakers. They’re trying to turn the notion of helping women into a movement, one that will literally save the world.

Their Twitter campaign, #imwiththeleague, is generating statements like this one by Scott Tanksley: “#ImWithTheLeague bc I want my kids’ world to be more than humanity at 50% of its heart, mind & soul capacity.”

And this one by Christine Osekoski:  “#imwiththeleague its time that strong women truly come together to support each others’ initiatives to empower all women. Let’s do it!”

Let’s do it. While the women on The League’s list have connections, money, and power, they still can’t do their jobs without the rest of us. We all have to get involved. Alicia Keys, who is in The League for co-founding Keep A Child Alive, which supports HIV-affected families in five struggling countries, wrote about this in the June 20th Huffington Post: “What people often assume is that in order to make change a reality, you have to have some kind of superhuman quality and power inside of you. You don’t have to be a politician, or a scholar or a singer or a celebrity to recognize a problem and work towards fixing it by empowering others around you to take up the fight.”

Another thing that’s hit home as I’ve read about the League of Extraordinary Women, is how many of its organizations focus on educating, protecting and helping young girls. One of the most inspiring of these is The Girl Effect, founded by the Nike Foundation’s Maria Eitel.

According to the site’s homepage, the Girl Effect is “the unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.” In other words, to make this world a better place for all of us, we need to get girls and women to a better place; to a place where they are safe, educated, have control over their bodies, and have equality with men in the workplace, in the boardrooms, in governments, and at home.

I believe in this. I’m with the league. How about you?

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